Hi there. This is an amazing site you have.
Our plans are to spend one month (maybe March) travelling around your country while doing a documentary on every aspect of the american life that we may encounter for a spanish TV.
We are loking forward enterviewing a lot of people, visiting strange and interesting places and finding a lot of different landscapes that will show the a huge and maybe somewhat alternative view on the US.
I think this place us great and I have visited a lot of your liks which i found extremely valuable, and now I ask your help.
The idea would be to travel all around the country, maybe start on NY, go all the way to california travelling through the south and coming back visitng the north .
Any ideas about the itinerary, interesting places or people to visit ,weather advices or anything elese will be greater apreciated (the budget should be really low, as we are self producing and are not rich people):-)
For the editors of this site, a big thanks will probably appear on credits and a big excuse for my english!!!!
to get started
Your English seems very good!
One month is not a very long time to do all you want to do, crossing the whole country. But it is a good length of time to see a few parts. Here is a suggestion just to get you started:
Day 1-2-3 Spend a few days in NEW YORK CITY.
Day 4-5-6 From New York City -> to WASHINGTON D.C. (the country's capitol). This is a walking town with many "free" things to see and do. The subway train is a good way to get around for low cost.
4 hrs drive. 3 days here.
-> to MAMMOTH CAVE National Park, Kentucky
(across scenic West Virginia to Kentucky)
12 hours drive - you could stop midway in Charleston West Virginia. 1/2 day or 1 day here taking a couple guided tours.
-> to Nashville and MEMPHIS Tennessee ("Country Music" cities), across Arkansas, to Dallas and FORT WORTH Texas.
13 hours drive - stop midway for a day in Nashville or Memphis.
Spend a couple days in the Dallas / Fort Worth area. Go to a rodeo. See the HISTORIC STOCKYARDS in Fort Worth to learn about the "old west & cowboy & cattle drives - history of the USA)
Day 12 or 13
-> to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
3-1/2 hours drive. See the bombing memorial.
This next bit of driving many of us might think "boring" but it will show you the desert, ranches, and grain farmland of the country.
-> across (back across a different part of Texas)and across New Mexico (with a stop here) to Flagstaff, Arizona.
13 - 14 hours drive.
Continue from Flagstaff north to GRAND CANYON National Park, Arizona. You'll want to spend a day or two here. Overnight stay in a campground there. See the sunrise or sunset there before moving on.
1.5 hours drive.
-> Highway I-40 to Los Angeles, California 9 hours drive. (if you want to go to a "big city" and lots of traffic confusion)
-> Pacific Ocean coastal drive north from Los Angeles - highway 101 and highway 1 - to San Francisco, California
-> to Salt Lake City, Utah
12 hours drive. This will take you past the "Great Salt Lake" as you approach Salt Lake City.
-> to Jackson, Wyoming and on to Grand Teton National Park
5.5 hours drive, plus the time to go through the park is extra.
-> continue through Grand Teton National Park right into YELLOWSTONE National Park, Wyoming.
-> to Cody, Wyoming - this little western town has a very large good museum "Buffalo Bill Historial Center" which will give you many interesting facts about the "old west" history. You could easily spend a day or two here.
-> to Badlands National Park, South Dakota
(stop at WALL DRUG - it is right on the way. This has a huge tourist store that has many historic photographs and drawings on display. You do not need to buy anything. Just walk through it to see many interesting things).
Badlands National Park has a "loop" drive that keeps you headed east. You go through the park and come right back out on the same highway you need to continue heading east.
-> Niagara Falls, New York.
-> The ABOVE LAST FEW DAYS takes you across highways I-90 and I-80 back to New York City.
35 hours drive.
Many interesting places to stop along the way.
This will give you an idea just how "vast" the size of the country is. It will give you an idea where to start in planning your itinerary. The above will take you across many varied types of scenery, mountains, deserts, grassland, farmland, prairies, cities, small friendly towns, and so on. Everywhere you stop, you'll be able to meet and talk to the local folks.
There are campgrounds in all of the national parks where you can park your car and just "sleep in the car" with a sleeping bag. They are about $15 - $20 per night. Showers are available for another $2.00 or so.
There are hostels in many of the cities across the USA. Approximately $25 - $40 per night.
You will want to buy a "National Parks Pass". This costs $50.00 but lasts for one year and gets you entry into ALL of the national parks. You just ask for it at the first national park entry gate that you go to. It does not include the cost of camping, but just the entry fees which can be $20.00 each at some of these national parks. It quickly pays for itself.
You can carry water bottles and a few snacks with you. Stop at grocery stores in the towns and cities to buy a few fresh supplies from day to day, like fresh fruit or a drink container of milk.
When travelling through the west, especially in the desert or mountain areas, be sure to have drinking water with you. Be sure to keep your fuel tank filled. There are some long stretches where you cannot buy gasoline for your vehicle.
I assume you will be using a RENTAL CAR? Be sure it comes with "unlimited mileage". This will be the most expensive part of your trip.
In MARCH, YOU WILL STILL BE DRIVING THROUGH SNOW IN SOME OF THE NORTHERN & MOUNTAINOUS PARTS OF THE TRIP. (for example - from Salt Lake City on... )
Some places to search for ideas:
www.byways.org - National Scenic Byways (scenic routes)
www.nps.gov/parks.html - shows where all the national parks are and what you can see and do at each one.
Hope this helps.
cheap rental car?
What are the best and cheapest rental car companies? Also, I may want to go to San Francisco and Idaho because I have people to interview there. I suppose is a matter of playing with the dates.
Any advice is appreciated, specially if is as detailed.
Thank you very much!!!
It's easy enough to vary the route given above, to go from SAN FRANCISCO into IDAHO, then continue straight across east from Idaho to YELLOWSTONE national park in Wyoming, and continue on east on highway I-90.
Many car rental companies require a minimum age of 25 years old for the drivers. Some charge a pretty big additional cost per day if you are between 21-24 ($40 - $80 per day US$). Most will not let you rent at all if you are under 21 years.
The price varies at different rental agencies depending upon what size of vehicle you want. You'll have to search them out. If you go over 28 days, prices increase as well.
If you are spending the first few days in New York City, you might not want to pick up the rental until you are heading out on your journey - if that will keep you at the 28 days.
If you do not do an "even" number of weeks, you are charged a high DAILY rate for the extra days. For example 3 weeks plus 2 days, or 4 weeks, plus 1 day.
Insurance will be an expensive extra cost that you MUST get on your rental car. I don't think anything you can buy in Spain for travel insurance will help you get out of this. It is probably better just to plan on buying it here. ALL TYPES of insurance should be bought.
They often break it down into 3 types:
"personal" (your medical needs),
"damage waiver" (actual physical damage to the car),
"supplemental liability" (in case you cause damage or injury to someone else or their vehicle)
This insurance can be an extra $20 - $25 PER DAY!
Okay - now here are some price ranges from a quick internet check I did:
It varies from $499.95 - $569.95 PER WEEK if you say 31 days car rental, down to $229.99 - $296.99 PER WEEK if you say 28 days. The insurance and all taxes and surcharges are EXTRA $$.
Another company for a "full size" car says $319.99 per week plus about $200.00 in taxes = $1,454.36 for 28 days rental, plus insurance.
Another internet check said $1,087.96 to $1,679.96 for 28 days (plus insurance), depending what size of vehicle you want.
(Editors Note: Slv had included the URls of a number of rental car companies in her post -- but we do not generally provide competitors URLs in this Forum.)
It might be easier to go through your travel agency to book the car rental, instead of on the internet.
Thanks a lot for your help!!!!
If i have new concernes i will post them here.
You should definately visit the following states. Arizona, Washington, Colorado, Kentucky, Ohio. You may want to considder joining your national auto club or AAA just incase you break down (make sure they will let you use service in the U.S. through AAA.) Just a suggestion.
Just wanted to say if you do visit New York City. You can get a fantastic view of the NY skyline from New Jersey in Jersey City there is Liberty State Park. It is the closest point to NYC to see the skyscrapers.
Yes, that view is great
We have always liked that view and thank you for reminding all of us about it. Have you ever eaten at <a href = "http://www.roadtripamerica.com/eats/liberty.htm">the Liberty Seafood Restaurant<a/> -- it has been a long time since I was there, but a real "find".
Liberty Seafood Restaurant
Thank you for the rating & I would look for it in the future. Diane
West Coast Virgins!
I've been looking forward to driving America's west coast for over twenty years, ever since a road trip in the Florida Keys.This is it! My wife and I arrive in San Francisco February 24th and plan to stay a few days in the city before heading up to Tahoe for some skiing with friends. We then have 2-3 weeks before we fly back to the UK out of LA and want to enjoy the best of California's scenery,hotels,food and sunshine. We'd also like to rent a great convertable ... a'vette or 'stang.
Any route/destination/lodging/restaurant/car rental suggestions would be greatly appreciated.